BarCamp Yangon 2010 continued on the second day and it was still crowded as ever. According to the survey, around 1500 people participated in the program. So, the total estimate figure of the barcamppers is around 2500 for both days.
On the second day, one of the rooms had been changed from Hall 1 to the Conference Room. I prefer that room more because the air-conditioners worked better and the wifi connection was also much better. There was a small trouble with the projector at first, but the problem was fixed before the opening ceremony started. At that time, I was sitting at the front seats, updating my blog using a netbook (they are actually notebooks, but much cheaper than the famous brands) borrowed from Angelo. I also managed to twit about it before logging off. There wasn’t much to do during the first period, but my work started on the second period, during a presentation about “Computer Professionals & Change”. It was a nice presentation and the discussions were interesting and definitely useful those who want to work in the IT field whether in the country or abroad, but the time lingered on a bit due to a summarized story about “Who Moved My Cheese”. On the third period, I was running back and forth from the Conference Room to Room 101 as I wasn’t sure which side needed my help. The presentation in Room 101 was about using mobile technology to access the current location and finding the nearest restaurant, theater, etc. At last, I went back to the Conference Hall to listen to the presentation about “Open Source – Open Knowledge in Cambodia”. I wished I had been there earlier so that I can help out my fellow translator who was translating on stage. Even through I arrived late, I was able to catch most of the presentation and I find it pretty interesting because it was about using Unicode system in Cambodia. Perhaps, one day we would also be using the one Unicode system in Myanmar.
Aside from the small incident which was taken under control, the morning session ended well. I had lunch at the canteen since I had to translate for an interview. Actually, all I had to do was translate the questions and the rest was spoken in English. I even forgot that it was an interview and asked my own questions since it was so interesting. I’m sorry that I kept overusing that word. Afterward, I joined my friends, who were having lunch, on the grass beside Building 1. I didn’t want to go back inside even though it was over one o’clock, but Ma BarNyar mentioned that Htoo Tay Za was giving a presentation about “Twitter, font embedding with CSS, Web Design, and WordPress as CMS”. I misheard the room number and went into the Room 101 instead of 201, but that room was also giving a presentation about “Social Media”, including Twitter and Facebook so I decided to stay there. The room was crowded, but the audience didn’t participate much in the discussions. Perhaps they are new to Twitter and Facebook. Among the audience, I met an 11 years-old boy who was reading something from a website with his laptop. So, that made him the second youngest barcamper. (The actual youngest barcamper is a sweet little baby and the third youngest barcamper is a 12 years old blogger, who was interviewed by reporters and was mentioned in Twitter.) I am actually quite proud to see these youngsters who don’t spend their times in front of the computer playing games unlike most kids. I only feel sad that while these kids have netbooks and mobile phones, I have neither:(.
Around 2pm, I went to Room 201 and caught the last part of HTZ’s presentation. Afterward, Ma BarNyar and Ko MyatLone gave a presentation about “Digital Privacy & Security”. The room was crowded here also, probably because of the free software DVDs that were given away at the end of the presentation. The DVD contains many useful software like anti-virus, anti-privacy, etc and also tips on how to secure your computer system. During the discussion, I learnt about how unsecure it is to use the internet at the cybercafés because some software could be installed without showing on the task manager unlike Keylogger. Good thing that the cyber café I use is pretty safe and the staffs are mostly girls who wouldn’t mess around with someone’s passwords. Even so, I always cleared everything after using Firefox.
The presentation and discussion ended before 3pm and I moved on to the next discussion back in the Conference Room. A light panel discussion with the international barcampers about IT development in Myanmar was scheduled to start at 3pm, but unfortunately the presentation & discussion about “Myanmar Unicode” didn’t finish until 4pm. Since I missed the first part of the presentation, I didn’t really know when it started, but I think it started later than scheduled. Having never actually tried the standard Myanmar Unicode, it seemed a bit strange for me, but I’m quite interested in it and I will definitely check it out after getting my PC working again. (The graphic card burned out and we’ll replace it at the end of the month). After the presentation, there were a couple of feedbacks and they turned into heated discussions about the standard Unicode and Alpha Zawgyi Unicode. I won’t recount what was being said since I don’t wish to be a part of the debate, but still I found the comparison using a midwife quite funny. If there’s one thing I learnt from the discussion that is the fact that Cambodia has only one Unicode while there are 12 Unicode systems in Myanmar. I was thinking OML, we Myanmar people are surely too competitive. Why can’t we just work together instead of creating various Unicode systems?
The light panel discussion started around 4pm and I was seated on the stage behind the international barcampers. Good thing I don’t have stage fright ‘cuz I had to sit there for more than an hour. In this discussion, the audience is encouraged to give their feedbacks and the barcampers replied back to them. Although the room was quite packed, there weren’t many people who came forward to speak. One person mentioned that he wanted to hear about networking, but there wasn’t any presentation about networking. So, one of the barcamper replied that barcamp isn’t about what you want to hear, but what’s available in barcamp. So if that person wants to hear about networking, he would have to present it himself or find someone who can do the presentation. There were also discussions about mini-barcamps and barcamps in Mandalay, Taunggyi, and so on. Every international barcamper said that this barcamp is the best barcamp that they have been to. Even in a country like India which has a large population, the number of barcamper is lesser than in Myanmar. So you can obviously see that this barcamp is a huge success. However, one of the guys mentioned that we shouldn’t always expect barcamps to be always successful. Ko Nyi Lynn Seck mentioned that there are also other people who are interested in organizing other camps like a bookcamp and environmentalcamp. I was quite delighted to hear that especially at the idea of a bookcamp. I can’t wait to meet with other fellow bookworms especially those who read English novels.
Sorry, I got off-topic again. So, back to the barcamp – after the discussion, there was an ending ceremony with Ko Nyi Lynn Seck and Htoo Tay Za as MCs. Hey, they could easily replace San Htut in Puzzle Palace anytime, especially Ko NLS :P. (Puzzle Palace is a game program that airs on MWD on Sunday nights.). In the ending ceremony, there was an IT quiz in which those who can answer correctly get the prizes. Too bad that we, the volunteers, weren’t allowed to participate:(. The main focus was on the lucky draw program that gave away a netbook. Again, I regret that I didn’t participate in the survery program as I was too busy and I completely forgot about it. Otherwise, I might have a chance of winning that netbook. The winner was a teenage boy who had to make a promise not to abuse the netbook by uploading porn pictures.
The ceremony ended after 6pm and I was starving. The organizers and the volunteers were asked to stay behind for the beercamp. Truthfully, I hate alcohol. I can’t stand the smell of alcohol at all. At least I still had a bottle of the leftover soda from lunch so I didn’t mind about the beer part. I only felt tricked because I was expecting some real food, not some snacks. Even so, I enjoy being a part of the barcamp because it was a wonderful experience for me. I got to learn a lot from the barcampers and also meet with old and new friends. Now, when I login to Gtalk and Facebook, I can’t deny new people who added me ‘cuz they could be the ones I met at barcamp.